From a new set of spy shots posted last night on M3Post.com, It looks like the new M3's getting a six-speed manual, along with the telltale M-power button that frees up the final 75 horsepower or so. Apparently BMW's not risking more alienation of US buyers, who wanted manuals in their M5s (we all know how that turned out). No word on whether it'll have the same level of traction control fascism as in the new manual M5s — or the same degree of wheel hop (er, tramp) engineers found in the M5s. Suffice to say they're at least giving it a go before the new, less ruthless SMG ships sometime next millennium.
Few new M3 coupe pics [M3Post.com]
US Buyers None too Happy With Six-Speed M5 [internal]